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Thread: Science's the new hip religion...

  1. #1
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    Science's the new hip religion...

    Si la science vous suffit...je suis decu pour vous.

    Science will not explain everything.What are the limits?

    I think it's all about trust.I mean,we believe in the system and in its directors...should we really?

    Who finance scientists?


    People who wants scientifik proofs will be fed by money-driven sponsors.Here we are...still.

    Real scientist shoukld ask them self...who do they really work for.
    And if you find you working to protect your own pocket...you should be a shame.

    Otherwise,if you can forget your "rep" and go on with your logical find...then you'll realize you are just a human being that needs to care about your neigbors and promote love all around...We're far from science limits now...

    Does it ring a bell to anybody?

    PS Sorry for my english!

  2. #2
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    Yes it rings a bell, there was a brief discussion of it on page two of this thread.

    http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/vi...ghlight=#75803

    My opinion on the matter is stated there.

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    Hello Moon(Luna?) You are correct that "[s]cience will not explain everything." And if you believe that "it's all about trust", you have to be, I believe, carefull. If you have the mind, or a smart friends mind, to check out a scientific finding you should! All people are subject to corruption---even scientists. However; We do live in a philisophical web that demands that we fullfill a societal debt of honesty. Without which we would be doomed. Down that road lays conspiracy, corruption, and self-interest.

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    Wait, I just noticed this is Moon's first post. Sorry about that Moon, I forgot to welcome you to the Board!

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    I second that welcome. And don't worry about the fine points of English, there are many other very clever BABB posters who aren't perfectly fluent in English.

    But if science is a new religion, we might as well ashcan it. The whole point of science is to describe a common reality which can be checked by anyone with the proper equipment. Ho, but of course I don't have a particle accelerator and an array of radio telescopes, so I have to evaluate reports from people who DO have them as best I can. Can I trust them?

    Consider the penalty for a scientist who lies about an important result and is found out: it's effectively the end of their career. Consider the "discoverers" of cold fusion, Fleischmann and Pons: working outside their field of expertise, in a notoriously tricky area of experimentation, they made mistakes. That isn't why they are no longer taken seriously as scientists, though--their real career-ender was covering up the original mistake and denying it when others completely refuted their results.

    Scientists make mistakes--Einstein, Hawking, all of them have goofed. Mistakes aren't the killer; lying about results is. And that brings me back to the original point: Can I, a layman with limited equipment, trust reports published in credible journals by the experts?

    I say yes. Honesty in reporting results is probably the single most important requirement for a scientific career. The results may be mistaken, and that's why second, third, fourth and more confirmations are important.

    Science is not religion. Religion reports on an internal human realm, the spiritual realm which is not accessible to experimental proof or disproof. By contrast, a scientific theory which cannot possibly be falsified by any experiment is not acceptable: it is speculation. If there is a way to prove, experimentally, that Brahma is real and Jehovah is not, then I certainly have never heard of it. Religion is unfalsifiable; scientific theories are the opposite.

    Well, that's one opinion anyway.

  6. #6
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    Adding my two cents to what DStahl has posted:

    Science is frequently seen as analogous to other belief systems. This is not correct.

    Science is a process, not a set of beliefs.

    Say you have 30 people with the same bacterial infection. You then give penicillin to 10 of them, an inactive sugar pill to 10, and do nothing with the other 10. After 3 days the group who got penicillin are all well, the other 2 groups are still sick. After 6 days the 10 who got penicillin are still well, of the other 20 about half of each group are well and the other half are still sick. After 9 days, 29 are well and one who got a sugar pill is now worse. You give that person penicillin and they get better in 4 days.

    Science would not be the 'belief' that the penicillin worked. It would be the belief that the 'evidence' indicated the penicillin worked.

    Science does not tell you penicillin works. Science tells you there is a way to evaluate whether or not penicillin works.

    So it doesn't matter if there is bad research out there. Part of the process of science weeds the bad research out.

    Scientists don't have 'faith' that all research has been done honestly and without error. That would be a foolish assumption.

  7. #7
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    Re: Science's the new hip religion...

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon
    People who wants scientifik proofs will be fed by money-driven sponsors.Here we are...still.

    Moon,

    welcome on board.

    science is not a religion.

    religion provides you with facts WITHOUT proof. no doubt kuz written in a book supposed to be ...... holy, thus bearing ABSOLUTE truth ..... !!!!


    science provides you with facts , that anybody anywhere can xperiment.
    there's no absolute truth. any scientific theory is subject to dismissal if proven to be false, at any time.

    scientists are not working for money or glory.
    browse this forum, and you'll find many members spending lot of energy xplaning/defending scientific facts. they don't do it for money.

    they do it kuz they love it.

  8. #8
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    It's one of those things where "it depends on how you look at it."

    science in and of itself is not a religion. I believe we can all agree on that. Science tells you what and how (in the physical realm alone), but not why. Religion tells you why.

    However, if you think of religion being defined as something you put your faith and trust in and where you look for answers to life's questions, then I do not believe it would be off-base to think of science as "religion" in this sense.

    If your definition of religion requires one or more deities, then of course you will never consider science as a religion.

    If you think of religion as a way of life and thought - well, science does have it's way of life and thought, but just from a different angle.

    Just my thoughts.

    (And welcome to the Board, Moon!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nebularain
    It's one of those things where "it depends on how you look at it."

    science in and of itself is not a religion. I believe we can all agree on that. Science tells you what and how (in the physical realm alone), but not why. Religion tells you why.
    I'm not sure the word 'why' determines a dividing line between religion and science. I think I know what you meant. But my science oriented brain doesn't want to give sole ownership of 'why' to religion.

    Why doesn't the Moon fly off into space? Because.....

    I, myself do not need a metaphysical answer to why I am here. A scientific answer will suffice. That still doesn't mean my religion is science.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebularain
    It's one of those things where "it depends on how you look at it."

    science in and of itself is not a religion. I believe we can all agree on that. Science tells you what and how (in the physical realm alone), but not why. Religion tells you why.
    tells you why ?? hmmmmmm.
    why earth is orbiting the sun ??
    why we have 4 seasons ??
    why we have day and night ??

    well, the answer is ..... kuz God wants it to be so !!! that's why. Amen !!!

    BTW, in Germany they say "Religionwissenschaft" = the SCIENCE of religion.

    wowowow !!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cable
    BTW, in Germany they say "Religionwissenschaft" = the SCIENCE of religion.
    There is a science of religion. It would fall in the social sciences categories. Are Germans referring to the study of religions or are you translating 'theism' into English by calling it the science of religion?

    Just curious.

  12. #12
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    There is a science of religion. It would fall in the social sciences categories. Are Germans referring to the study of religions or are you translating 'theism' into English by calling it the science of religion?
    Its studying religions, but mayby a german on the board could say more.
    http://www.zfr-online.de/zfr-english.html

  13. #13
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    "religionwissenschaft" is ..... a science. that's right, according to this link:

    http://moup.mailru.com/de/ph/rel/

    ther's also "Scienza della Religione". perhaps this may go back to the roman-german empire ......

    BUT, no such " science de la religion" in France !!

    SO is religion a science or not ???
    a difficult question !!!!

  14. #14
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    SO is religion a science or not ???
    a difficult question !!!!
    I realy do not know how you can see this as "difficult"

    religion= blind faith to believe with no reason but being raised to believe.

    science=the study of the physical world and its manifestations, especially by using systematic observation and experiment.
    Quoted from Encarta

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    nebularain wrote: However, if you think of religion being defined as something you put your faith and trust in and where you look for answers to life's questions, then I do not believe it would be off-base to think of science as "religion" in this sense.
    From a philosophical point of view, I'm inclined to agree with nebularain on this one. Those of us that are scientifically minded do put our "faith" in the truth of certain axioms (such as Uniformitarianism and the Cosmological Principle) that are not or perhaps cannot be proven.

    We also put faith in our senses and instrumentation that when we make observations/measurements we are in fact observing what we think we are observing within accepted error bars.

    Then there are certain foundations of theories that are accepted on faith. For example, the matter-antimatter question for the Big Bang theory. Recall that the Big Bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter, but we live in a universe dominated by normal matter. Here is how this problem was addressed in R.C. Bless' 1996 textbook Discovering the Cosmos:

    "Calculations show that if for every 1,000,000,000 particles of antimatter there were 1,000,000,001 particles of matter, that would have been sufficient to produce the matter world we live in! Again Big Bang cosmology cannot account for even this tiny imbalance, but must assume it."

    (Bold added for emphasis)

    If this problem cannot ultimately be resolved, then there could not have been a Big Bang (right?). That being the case, the Big Bang theory in a sense rests upon the faith that this problem will eventually be resolved through particle physics theory/experimentation.

    The difference is that the scientist does not rely on faith alone to build a world-view.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by beskeptical
    I'm not sure the word 'why' determines a dividing line between religion and science.
    Here, let me quote from my Conceptual Physics Science (Hewitt, Suchocki, Hewitt) textbook:

    The search for order and meaning on the world has taken different forms: One is science, another is art, and another is religion. These three domains differ from one another in important ways, although they often overlap. Science is principally engaded with discovering and recording natural phenomena, the arts are an expression of human experience as they pertain to the senses, and religion addresses the source, purpose, and meaning of it all.

    (snip)

    Science and religion deal with very different domains. Science is concerned with the physical realm; religion is concerned with the spiritual realm. Simply put, science asks how; religion asks why. The practices of science and religion are also different. Whereas scientists experiment to find nature's secrets, religious practitioners worship God and work to build human community. In these respects, science and religion are as different as apples and oranges and do not contradict each other. Science and religion are two different yet complementary fields of human activity.

    When we study the nature of light later in this book, we shall treat light first as a wave and then as a particle. To the person who knows only a little about science, waves and particles are contradictory; light can be only one or the other, and we have to choose between them. But to the enlightened person, waves and particles complement each other and provide a deeper understanding of light. In a similar way, it is mainly people who are either uninformed or misinformed about the deeper natures of both science and religion wh feel that they must choose between believing in religion and believing in science. Unless one has a shallow understanding of either or both, there is no contradiction in being religious and being scientific in one's thinking.

    (emphasis mine)
    That's what I mean by that. OK?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebularain
    That's what I mean by that. OK?
    Ya. That's what I thought you meant. I'm not trying to quibble with semantics. I just don't agree with the above position. Not a big enough deal to worry about though.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgruss23
    ..... Those of us that are scientifically minded do put our "faith" in the truth of certain axioms (such as Uniformitarianism and the Cosmological Principle) that are not or perhaps cannot be proven.

    We also put faith in our senses and instrumentation that when we make observations/measurements we are in fact observing what we think we are observing within accepted error bars.

    Then there are certain foundations of theories that are accepted on faith. For example, .....
    "Again Big Bang cosmology cannot account for even this tiny imbalance, but must assume it."
    .....
    If this problem cannot ultimately be resolved, then there could not have been a Big Bang (right?). That being the case, the Big Bang theory in a sense rests upon the faith that this problem will eventually be resolved through particle physics theory/experimentation.

    The difference is that the scientist does not rely on faith alone to build a world-view.
    This conversation is starting to repeat itself. I don't have faith that an unproven theory is correct. Think of it as being in a temporary file. Is faith in any god meant to be in a temporary file? You only have to 'assume' a particular theory or hypothesis if it is required to form the basis of another hypothesis. Otherwise theories are sort of a summary of the data we have to date.

    I may believe there is or is not enough evidence to support the theory of the BB. That doesn't mean 'science' has proven the BB and we should all have 'faith' in that.

    A person with religious convictions can rationalize the similarities between science and religion. One can construct one's reality however it is logical to that person. So as far as that goes, I certainly don't want to imply my opinion is any better or worse than anothers.

    But science is built on an ongoing process of observation. Religion is built on a collection of stories, beliefs, and ideas passed on from generation to generation. You can use the word faith to describe faith in an observation or to describe faith in a god, but those different uses of the word do not carry the same connotation.

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    Your such a liar Dstahl.

    Of course you own your own particle accelerator. You just take it for granted

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beaver
    SO is religion a science or not ???
    a difficult question !!!!
    I realy do not know how you can see this as "difficult"

    religion= blind faith to believe with no reason but being raised to believe.

    science=the study of the physical world and its manifestations, especially by using systematic observation and experiment.
    Quoted from Encarta
    Another example of getting nowhere when you go to Microsoft for an answer.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgruss23
    . . .
    The difference is that the scientist does not rely on faith alone to build a world-view.
    I would go ever further. Science does not build a worldview at all. It is a phenominological process in building connections between one commonly verifiable observation and another commonly verifiable observation. Science does not go any deeper in that, and any attempts to do so are at best analogical and not science.

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    Here are a few definitions selected from The American College Dictionary (circa 1960’s edition - handed down to me from my parents and it always works ):

    Accept – to believe: to accept a fact
    Believe – to accept as true
    Assume – To take for granted or without proof; suppose as a fact
    Faith – belief which is not based on proof

    beskeptical wrote: This conversation is starting to repeat itself. I don't have faith that an unproven theory is correct. Think of it as being in a temporary file. Is faith in any god meant to be in a temporary file? You only have to 'assume' a particular theory or hypothesis if it is required to form the basis of another hypothesis. Otherwise theories are sort of a summary of the data we have to date.
    1. If “assume” is replaced with its definition:

    You only have to take for granted or without proof a particular theory or hypothesis if it is required to form the basis of another hypothesis.

    2. If “assume" is replaced with the definition for faith:

    You only have to have a belief which is not based on proof for a particular theory or hypothesis if it is required to form the basis of another hypothesis.

    3. If the word “belief” is replaced with its definition and change “which is not based” to "without":

    You only have to accept as true without proof a particular theory or hypothesis if it is required to form the basis of another hypothesis.


    These three versions of the statement are equally valid. By the definitions there is no difference in saying “faith” and in saying “assume”.

    That said, I’ll agree that assume is a better word for the scientist because it distances from the religious connotation that is frequently attached to the word “faith”.

    But science is built on an ongoing process of observation. Religion is built on a collection of stories, beliefs, and ideas passed on from generation to generation. You can use the word faith to describe faith in an observation or to describe faith in a god, but those different uses of the word do not carry the same connotation.
    That is true and I made reference to the role of observation/experimentation in establishing the truth of the matter/antimatter assumption, but as illustrated above the literal difference between the meanings of “assume” and “faith” is nonexistent.

    I’m not trying to blur the distinction between science and religious faith, but I am trying to illustrate why – as indicated by the OP some people see no difference between religious faith and scientific assumptions. For example, in my previous post pointed to the following quote from a textbook:

    "Calculations show that if for every 1,000,000,000 particles of antimatter there were 1,000,000,001 particles of matter, that would have been sufficient to produce the matter world we live in! Again Big Bang cosmology cannot account for even this tiny imbalance, but must assume it."

    Substituting the definition of belief/faith for “assume” we have:

    "Calculations show that if for every 1,000,000,000 particles of antimatter there were 1,000,000,001 particles of matter, that would have been sufficient to produce the matter world we live in! Again Big Bang cosmology cannot account for even this tiny imbalance, but must accept it as true without proof."

    -For the scientist is important not to forget that all theories have some underlying assumptions - assumptions upon which the theories themselves depend no matter how much other evidence is piling up for that theory. Despite all the observational/experimental rigors of good science, when the scientist tries to communicate those theories to the public, those assumptions may not be perceived as anything different from faith in the definitional sense.

  23. #23
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    RickNZ: "Of course you own your own particle accelerator. You just take it for granted."

    Sigh. But it's such a tiny one, relative to CERN's machines, and so...so square. For that matter, I have a DNA replicator, and a protein synthesizer too, which I take very much for granted. Not to mention a pair of very senstive photochemical sensor devices capable of distinguishing wavelengths of light between 4000 and 7000 angstroms (roughly)...

    Your point is taken, ad absurdum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgruss23
    Then there are certain foundations of theories that are accepted on faith. For example, the matter-antimatter question for the Big Bang theory. Recall that the Big Bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter, but we live in a universe dominated by normal matter. Here is how this problem was addressed in R.C. Bless' 1996 textbook Discovering the Cosmos:

    "Calculations show that if for every 1,000,000,000 particles of antimatter there were 1,000,000,001 particles of matter, that would have been sufficient to produce the matter world we live in! Again Big Bang cosmology cannot account for even this tiny imbalance, but must assume it."

    (Bold added for emphasis)

    If this problem cannot ultimately be resolved, then there could not have been a Big Bang (right?). That being the case, the Big Bang theory in a sense rests upon the faith that this problem will eventually be resolved through particle physics theory/experimentation.

    The difference is that the scientist does not rely on faith alone to build a world-view.
    There are many different possible solutions to asymmetry through various violations of CP or even CPT. I think that the textbook is actually a bit off saying that the Big Bang cannot account for this tiny imbalance and we must assume it. That may have been true when the Big Bang was first being developed, but now we have very robust self-consistent theories that don't require an "assumption" per se. It is still true that we don't understand the details of why there is an asymmetry, but what I don't think is quite correct is to say that such an asymmetry must be assumed since models are out there where asymmetry isn't assumed, but the universe is driven to the balance just the same (this is another nifty effect of inflation, just like inflation drives the universe to flat).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgruss23
    Accept – to believe: to accept a fact
    Believe – to accept as true
    Assume – To take for granted or without proof; suppose as a fact
    Faith – belief which is not based on proof

    beskeptical wrote: You only have to 'assume' a particular theory or hypothesis if it is required to form the basis of another hypothesis. Otherwise theories are sort of a summary of the data we have to date.
    1. If “assume” is replaced with its definition:

    You only have to take for granted or without proof a particular theory or hypothesis if it is required to form the basis of another hypothesis.

    2. If “assume" is replaced with the definition for faith: .......

    3. If the word “belief” is replaced with its definition and change “which is not based” to "without": ...........

    These three versions of the statement are equally valid. By the definitions there is no difference in saying “faith” and in saying “assume”.

    That said, I’ll agree that assume is a better word for the scientist because it distances from the religious connotation that is frequently attached to the word “faith”.
    Here is another example of using language to get in the way of communication. If 'assume' and 'faith' meant the same thing then you could expect to hear, "I assume there is a god" as often as you hear, "I have faith there is a god". Both might be correct from one's point of view but they have subtle differences because they are not exactly synonomous.

    Assume – To take for granted or without proof; suppose as a fact

    If I need to suppose as fact some particular unproven hypothesis or theory in order to test a related hypothesis, I don't have to have faith that the supposed fact is true. I might actually believe it isn't true and expect the result of my research to show that in the end.

    There are many words that can be substituted and the sentence might be similar. But within the context there are differences in these two words. I do not mean the same thing when I use assume and faith.

    But the point is not semantics. It is not word definition. The point is science is not a religion and religion is not a science. (Excluding the science of the study of religion as a phenomonon.)

    That is true and I made reference to the role of observation/experimentation in establishing the truth of the matter/antimatter assumption, but as illustrated above the literal difference between the meanings of “assume” and “faith” is nonexistent.

    I’m not trying to blur the distinction between science and religious faith, but I am trying to illustrate why – as indicated by the OP some people see no difference between religious faith and scientific assumptions.
    I realize there are many who see no difference as you say. Language is truely a limiting factor in communication. But it isn't the language we are debating here it is the idea. To use the language as the basis for evidence that science is a religion is not convincing evidence.

    For example, in my previous post pointed to the following quote from a textbook:

    "Calculations show that if for every 1,000,000,000 particles of antimatter there were 1,000,000,001 particles of matter, that would have been sufficient to produce the matter world we live in! Again Big Bang cosmology cannot account for even this tiny imbalance, but must assume it."

    Substituting the definition of belief/faith for “assume” we have: .......

    -For the scientist is important not to forget that all theories have some underlying assumptions - assumptions upon which the theories themselves depend no matter how much other evidence is piling up for that theory. Despite all the observational/experimental rigors of good science, when the scientist tries to communicate those theories to the public, those assumptions may not be perceived as anything different from faith in the definitional sense.
    No one has said theories are laws. No one has said all evidence is fixed and correct. That would be very unscientific. Your 'textbook' example is not an example of what science is. It is only an example of that particular author's choice of words to explain some point. Personally, I wouldn't have chosen those words to make that statement myself. But that is irrelevant.

    I believe you are trying to say my reality is just that, mine. And a religious person's reality is just the same but it is their reality. I do not disagree with that statement.

    All religions have in common belief without evidence and this is one definition of 'faith'. But science is not based on faith, it is based on evidence. If someone choses to equate science to religion in error, it doesn't change the fact that science is not 'faith based' in the same context as religion is 'faith based'.

    So I say again, science is built on an ongoing process of observation. Religion is built on a collection of stories, beliefs, and ideas passed on from generation to generation. You can use the word faith to describe faith in an observation or to describe faith in a god, but those different uses of the same word do not make the ideas the same.

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    Beskeptical,

    I don't disagree with anything you said about what science is and how it works. You're preaching to the choir on that. Nor am I disagreeing with the difference in connotation between "assume" and "faith". I simply think that to the non-scientist there is little difference in the two words.

    Scientists have to understand that because its part of the battle as they try to communicate their theories.

    dgruss

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgruss23
    Beskeptical,

    I don't disagree with anything you said about what science is and how it works. You're preaching to the choir on that. Nor am I disagreeing with the difference in connotation between "assume" and "faith". I simply think that to the non-scientist there is little difference in the two words.

    Scientists have to understand that because its part of the battle as they try to communicate their theories.

    dgruss
    So if you were of the persuasion that science was another religion would I have made my point? :wink:

    Here's another example of the internet getting in the way of communication. I am aware of the way non-scientists often view science. If you were trying to explain that instead of debate the point, why didn't you say so. I could have gone to bed already.

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    beskeptical wrote: So if you were of the persuasion that science was another religion would I have made my point?
    Yes. Exceptional job!

    beskeptical wrote: Here's another example of the internet getting in the way of communication. I am aware of the way non-scientists often view science. If you were trying to explain that instead of debate the point, why didn't you say so. I could have gone to bed already.
    I was trying to illustrate why with examples. Sorry, I guess I didn't state that clearly. Now go get some sleep!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JS Princeton
    . . .since models are out there where asymmetry isn't assumed, but the universe is driven to the balance just the same (this is another nifty effect of inflation, just like inflation drives the universe to flat).
    But these models really can't be taken seriously, when they have no explanation for how matter and antimatter could have both been symmetrically created and also separated so that there is not just a massive act of pair annihilation.

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    And Zathras wrote that "they have no explanation for how matter and antimatter could have been symmetrically created and also separated so that there is not just a massive act of pair annihilation" I believe is incorrect. I believe that there has been a mechanisim worked out which allows for there to be a slight access of matter to remain after the mutual matter/antimatter annilation; thereby, allowing for what matter we see today. But I am no scientist, so hopefully someone will step to my rescue here!

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